Opinion Essay Introductions-Part 1

Writing introduction paragraphs for essays is usually a bit difficult for those who are new to essay writing. So today, I’m going to see how this can be dealt with for essay tasks that require your opinion. There are many approaches that are correct, but I always look for the easiest.

First, take a look at the following essay task from Cambridge IELTS 7, General Training test B:

Some people feel that entertainers (e.g. film stars, pop musicians or sports stars) are paid too much money.

Do you agree or disagree?

Which other types of job should be highly paid?

Now read the introduction an IELTS examiner has written for it:

I agree with the view that stars in the entertainment business are usually over paid. This is true whether we are considering stars of films, sport or popular music, and it often seems that the amount of money they are able to earn in a short time cannot possibly be justified by the amount of work they do.

 

(source: Cambridge IELTS 7, page 173)

You see that the first sentence of the introduction paragraph presents the writer’s view on the topic in the most direct and complete form possible. The second sentence only explains concepts in the first sentence.

You could even do this (i.e. stating your opinion and explaining it) in a single sentence to have a shorter introduction paragraph.

Now look at this essay topic and try to write an introduction paragraph in the same way.

Some people think governments should spend less money on arts and invest more in education.

How far do you agree or disagree?

I will post my own answer soon.

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7 comments

    1. Governments in some countries spend a large amount of money on different forms of art such as, music, theater and movie. I agree that these are waste of money, and that funds should be allocated to education.

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      1. Thank you Ali Reza. Here's an improved version of your paragraph:

        Governments in some countries spend a large amount large amounts of money on different forms of art such as, music, theater and movie. I agree that these are waste of money excessive, and that those/such/more funds should be allocated to education.

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  1. I've read (on some website) that a good introduction paragraph should have an "outline statement" to introduce the main ideas of the body paragraphs.

    It seems that it is not compulsory. what if we add an outline statement to make the introduction a little bit longer?

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    1. It is possible of course to give an overview of your main purposes in the introduction paragraph, but I'd avoid that because it would complicate things a little for the writer. You see, most candidates either resort to cliché or simply "summarise" their main points instead of "outlining" them. The approach I'm suggesting both resolves this and is fully examiner-approved ☺

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